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Types of Tractor-Trailer Wrecks

While every semi-truck crash is unique and could be caused by a range of factors, the majority of crashes can be classified into the following categories.

Head On

The most fearsome 18-wheeler crashes occur when a tractor-trailer crosses the highway or interstate median or center line. These crashes are usually fatal due to the size and speed of these monster machines.

Rear-End

You can be rear-ended if a trucker’s speeding, driving distracted, or tailgating you. Inadequate, poorly maintained brakes can be a factor, too. According to 2016 data from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), these crashes comprise almost a quarter of all fatal crashes and over 1/3 of all injury crashes.

T-bone

If a trucker blows through a red light or stop sign, the semi-truck can slam into the side of your car, causing devastating or even fatal injuries.

Underride

When a semi-trailer stops short, the car behind it may be unable to stop in time to avoid a collision. Instead, it may fly under the trailer—and the top of the car may be sheared off in the process. These tragic accidents can also occur due to improper trailer lights on dark rural highways. If a poorly lit trailer is crossing or blocking an intersection, other motorists can’t see it. Instead, they will slam into the truck and slide underneath.

Poor Tires or Brakes

Improperly maintained equipment can be lethal on these giant machines, especially if tires blow out or brakes fail. That’s why it’s imperative to do pre-trip inspections as required by federal law. Inadequate inspections— or none at all—can leave innocent motorists gravely injured or worse.

Don’t Pick Up the Pieces Alone

If you’ve been the victim of a serious tractor-trailer crash, it can feel like it’s all up to you to pick up the pieces left in the wake of the trucker’s disregard for your safety.

It’s not all up to you. You have rights, and we can help. To get your questions answered, fill out our Get Help Now form—an experienced trucking lawyer will help get you on the right path. 

 

Rob Usry
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Rob is a South Carolina personal injury and criminal defense lawyer.

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